This is not quite business as usual.
Finnair has just begun a new program where it weighs passengers before take-off to help the Finnish airline collect more accurate data about weights on its flights.
Paivyt Tallqvist, director for media relations at Finnair, confirmed that the airline was weighing passengers on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Helsinki airport.
“So many people actually wanted to take part in this,” she said, noting that the weigh-ins are voluntary and anonymous. “No one is forced on the scale.”
About 180 people volunteered so far, which was more than expected.
The airline launched the program, which will run intermittently into 2018, to get a more accurate picture of the average weights of the men, women and children that fly with the airline. Their carry-on baggage is also being taken into consideration and passengers must carry it onto the scale with them.
Tallqvist said it’s common industry practice to calibrate a plane based on average passenger weights provided by the European Aviation Safety Agency, which was based on research from 2009.
But Finnair said it wanted more up-to-date, relevant data to help plan its flights.
“The weight of the aircraft impacts on so many things,” including fuel levels and the speed and balance of the aircraft, said Tallqvist. “We just want to verify that the data we are using is as accurate as possible.”
Finnair is hoping to get a total of about 2,000 weigh-ins from men, women and children. It will conduct the study over the winter and spring, since carry-on baggage and coats tend to be heavier in the winter versus the spring.
Tallqvist said the airline last conducted a similar study of passenger weights in the 1980s.